The Seventh-day Adventist Church is updating the children’s Sabbath School curriculum to place a greater emphasis on distinct Adventist teachings while at the same time underscoring the vital role that grace plays in salvation, church leaders said Tuesday.
The General Conference’s Administrative Committee approved the rebranding of MyBibleGuides, formerly known as GraceLink, last week.
The revised curriculum, whose motto is “Reaching young hearts by God’s grace,” will be introduced in January 2018 for children aged zero through 17.
“By changing the name, we are not doing away with grace but enhancing it,” said Duane McKey, director of the Sabbath School and Personal Ministries department for the Adventist world church. “It’s not only about Jesus on the cross but the teachings of Jesus as well.”
McKey said a main aim of the revision is to ensure that children have a solid, practical understanding of what they believe as Seventh-day Adventists by the time they reach adulthood.
He expressed concern that Adventist children are being bombarded with biblically incorrect messages about spiritualism and the state of the dead through the media and public schools. He said the revised Sabbath School curriculum would help them navigate those issues as well as give them an understanding of how the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday and of basic end-time prophecies such as Daniel 2.
“Of course the curriculum will be age appropriate,” he said.
In academic terms, it is an appropriate time for the revision, said Ramon Canals, associate director of the Sabbath School and Personal Ministries department.
“The average life of a curriculum is 10 to 12 years, and this has been around for nearly 20 years,” he said.
GraceLink was conceived about 20 years ago and implemented 15 years ago.
The new, green logo for MyBibleGuides features an open book with an adult-sized hand reaching down to a child’s hand.
“The hands reaching through the center of the Bible represent how Jesus leads and guides our children to Himself,” reads promotion material provided by the Sabbath School and Personal Ministries department.
The color green was chosen because it represents spiritual growth and is often associated with grace, it says.